The truculence of President Bolsonaro to replace the President of Petrobras on the margins of good practices takes us back to Brazil in the past: arbitrary, disrespecting investors, ignorance about economic laws and populism.
For more than a generation, public policy makers have been striving to improve the governance practices of public companies, state-owned companies and fiscal responsibility. Therefore, the order to change the company’s president in a live was unusual, disregarding the legal rule that determines that the board of directors is the body responsible for appointing the president.
There is an implicit threat that President Bolsonaro will order an assembly to dismiss the collegiate of councilors, to assert his will. As a representative of the controlling shareholder, the Federal Government, at the limit, can do so. However, the political consequences are unpredictable.
The president’s position was already known. Although he admits ignorance about the economy, he considers individuals of “bad character” those who defend Petrobras’ pricing policy linked to international prices. A few years ago, he argued that Petrobras, on the contrary, should practice prices linked to the cost of production or an average between this and international prices.
It’s barbaric: oil and oil products are commodities widely traded internationally. When the price ceases to be formed by the encounter between supply and demand and is arbitrarily determined below this value, a process that generates a lack of product, black market and export arbitrage is triggered. Worse still, Petrobras’ results are compromised and, consequently, investments and employment in the entire oil chain.
Guided by an unbalanced political instinct and with populist rapture like Hugo Chávez, he considered the successive increases in the price of fuel and, for fear of reaction from truck drivers and other voters, aims to control them in the gogó. In his “sincerity”, he terrified national and foreign investors and brought the company’s value down by more than R $ 100 billion in two days.
I suspect that the president will realize that there are many other dissatisfied groups: the hundreds of thousands of small investors in Petrobras, the retired beneficiaries of the countless pension funds that invest in the company, the oil chain, from gas station attendants to workers in the oil industry. plastic, and Petrobras employees.
Also frustrated are the guarantors of his election, including the financial market and Minister Paulo Guedes, who has been taking a string of balls in the back. Finally, those who lose most are the small ones, who suffer from the growth of uncertainty.
The overwhelming reaction of public opinion to the Petrobras case made possible an eventual white intervention in the prices of derivatives. In fact, the announcement this Tuesday (23) – that the president would finally have authorized the beginning of BNDES studies for the privatization of Eletrobras – is an attempt to appease the market.
Petrobras board member Marcelo Mesquita, in an unmissable interview with GloboNews, warned: the president “should not set the boat on fire”, otherwise it could be the end of his government, as in the case of Dilma’s rides.
In fact, the Brazilian Corporation Law determines that the controlling shareholder is responsible for abuses of power, the Brazilian State Law establishes demanding criteria for directors and officers and, for the purpose of impeachment, it is a crime of responsibility to neglect the conservation of national heritage.
As is well known, only a country trucker has a strike that has a state oil company. It is necessary to separate Petrobras from the politicians, definitely. Petrobras must be privatized.
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